Under cover in suburbia, the master spy living off the state he betrayed (10.02.03)

Daily Mail, 10th February 2003

Mail100203

Advertisements
3 comments
  1. Troyhand said:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1982/07/21/world/man-in-the-news-suspect-in-spy-case.html
    New York Times – July 21, 1982
    MAN IN THE NEWS; SUSPECT IN SPY CASE

    LONDON, July 20— On the surface, Geoffrey Arthur Prime, the 44-year-old Briton charged with espionage, is a stark contrast to the other spies in this country since World War II.

    Rather than attending Cambridge University, as did Sir Anthony Blunt, H.A.R. Philby, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, Britain’s best-known spies, Mr. Prime went to a small technical college in England’s china-producing district, the Potteries, in Staffordshire.

    Instead of serving in prominent public positions, like Sir Anthony, who was curator of the art collection of Queen Elizabeth II, or Kim Philby, who was once spoken of as a possible head of Britain’s secret intelligence service, Mr. Prime has most recently been unemployed. Before that, he was a wine salesman and a taxi driver.

    A gaunt-faced man described as a hard worker and good friend by a former colleague, Mr. Prime was charged at Hereford magistrate’s court last Thursday with unspecified acts of espionage in the period from Jan. 1, 1968 to Dec. 31, 1981.

    During the first nine years of that interval, he was employed at the General Communications Headquarters at Cheltenham. This is the nerve center of Britain’s intelligence network, and it works closely with the United States National Security Agency. He Worked Crossword Puzzles

    Mr. Prime has been charged under Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act with communicating information calculated or intended to be useful to an enemy for purposes prejudicial to the safety and interests of the state. That section was used in all Britain’s major spy cases.

    ”There’s no doubt he is highly intelligent,” said Glynn Priday, chairman of the Cheltenham-based taxi company, A2B Private Hire Ltd., where Mr. Prime worked for 18 months before leaving amicably last October. ”Anyone who can do the Times or the Daily Telegraph crossword puzzles in 40 minutes must be.”

    The suspect, who is reported to have been a high-grade linguist for the Government’s communications headquarters, was fluent in Russian and also knew German, according to Mr. Priday.

    ”He was very interested in Russian culture and was always reading Russian newspapers and books and going to Russian plays and films,” Mr. Priday said.

    According to his former employer, Mr. Prime said he was trained by the Royal Air Force at the Leauchrast College of Languages. Today, a spokesman for the air force said he could not identify any such institution.

    Mr. Priday was not surprised that his former employee had worked for British intelligence. ”Taxi drivers come in all kinds,” he said. ”Geoff led us to believe that the strain and stress of working for the Government for the sort of money he was making there was just too much. He told us he and his wife wanted an easier life so he left the Government.” Work at 2 Taxi Compnies

    Mr. Prime went to work locally at the taxi company, Cheltax, where today no one would comment on him. He moved to A2B Private Hire seeking more flexible hours, but when his freelance schedule there was threatened by changes in company policy, he got a job selling wine to restaurants and hotels around Bristol, near Wales, for the German wine company, Pieroth Ltd.

    Mr. Prime was born in the village of Alton, near Stoke-on-Trent, not long before World War II. The youngest of three sons of a nurseryman, he went to a local Roman Catholic village school before going on at the age of 14 to study in Staffordshire. While in his 20’s he is reported to have joined the Royal Air Force.

    Divorced once, Mr. Prime then married a woman with three young sons. His wife, Rhona, the boys, and his parents are said to have been in hiding for some days.

    Mr. Priday described Mr. Prime’s interests as soccer and reading. He said that since he was arrested on June 28 on three charges of indecent assault, Mr. Prime had lost considerable weight.

    Mr. Prime is being held at the Gloucester Road prison in Hereford until his next court appearance, set for November, which will probably be at London’s Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey.

    ”He was a bit of a loner and didn’t have much of a sense of humor, but he certainly got on well with his colleagues here,” Mr. Priday said.

  2. Troyhand said:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eL0gAQAAIAAJ&q=inauthor:%22David+J.+Cole%22&dq=inauthor:%22David+J.+Cole%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mrsSU-7jFaqS1AH-woGYCA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA

    Geoffrey Prime: the imperfect spy
    David J. Cole

    Robert Hale, Feb 1, 1998

    This revealing portrait of Geoffrey Prime, a Soviet spy throughout the most intense years of the Cold War, tells a tale of corrupted morality and dishonor. The interesting story of why his own wife was so instrumental in his capture is displayed along with the other horrible crimes he committed. Readers will be intrigued and relieved to learn about how this criminal was brought to justice.

    [Page 97]
    Benton 723 Alison Peach Prob age 11 Echo 4/9
    (043794) 2 Birchley Row Use Brookes
    Pony won at Benton show
    6/12 1350 (Sat) sis Tracey 9ish Mr in
    23/12 1030 Mrs in 17/2 1405 Mrs again
    Bit hos no go
    Pleck 928 Tracey & Judith Eastington 28-2-80
    (07751) Sunville Farm Use Collins
    Readers at Pleck church service for Guides and Brownies.
    12/4 1625nr 18/4 1630nr 10/5 1300 YG (12)?
    Mrs in 15/5 1610 YG (10)?
    Mrs in 20/8 1150 Judith! Mr work
    Mrs in fields 21/12 1410 Judith! Mr & Mrs shops
    Good pros

    Prime was never in a hurry, verbally stalking each little girl over a period of months, then gradually increasing the tempo of conversation until it reached a crescendo of filth. He was careful not to subject those he chose as potential victims for his physical advances to the same verbal treatment; nothing was said to excite fear when he finally rang to make an appointment. The index eventually became a chilling system designed to fulfil perverted dreams of child exploitation and defilement. Excesses such as those of Geoffrey Prime, and the psychological causes to which they may be attributed, fill pages of medical textbooks. It is a recognized behavioural feature for someone who practises a minor fetish to degenerate to a more extreme manifestation of sexual gratification, such as rape: it is, however, rare to find an individual who indulges his fantasies in several different ways. And there can be no doubt that Prime would eventually have committed that ultimate crime had it not been for his timely capture. Voyeur, exhibitionist, paedophile, obscene telephone caller and indecent assailant – he fitted all of these descriptions. Finally he had resorted to weaponry to intimidate, terrify and persuade his victims: a progression that could have brought about a consequence graver than rape itself. The deterioration in his behaviour was a predictable consequence to the influences and circumstances of his early life, given the unusual personality profile with…

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eL0gAQAAIAAJ&q=%22rang+to+make+an+appointment.+The+index+eventually+became%22&dq=%22rang+to+make+an+appointment.+The+index+eventually+became%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AroSU5icCaaS0QH_wYGACw&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eL0gAQAAIAAJ&q=%22Bit+hos+no+go+Pleck+928+Tracey+%26+Judith+%22&dq=%22Bit+hos+no+go+Pleck+928+Tracey+%26+Judith+%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C7kSU7SoPMiD1AGgs4H4BA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eL0gAQAAIAAJ&q=%2212/4+1625nr+18/4+1630nr+10/5+1300+YG+(12)?%22&dq=%2212/4+1625nr+18/4+1630nr+10/5+1300+YG+(12)?%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PbkSU7imEtDx0wGzuYCwBg&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eL0gAQAAIAAJ&q=%22Excesses+such+as+those+of+Geoffrey+Prime,+and+the+psychological%22&dq=%22Excesses+such+as+those+of+Geoffrey+Prime,+and+the+psychological%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3bkSU-eqJqKL1AHtg4HADg&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eL0gAQAAIAAJ&q=%22filth.+He+was+careful+not+to+subject+those+he%22&dq=%22filth.+He+was+careful+not+to+subject+those+he%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=sbkSU9b8FMPK0gGB_4GoBA&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eL0gAQAAIAAJ&q=%22find+an+individual+who+indulges+his+fantasies+in+several+different+ways.+And+there%22&dq=%22find+an+individual+who+indulges+his+fantasies+in+several+different+ways.+And+there%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=07cSU8_PDceR0QHhvIGoAw&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/118131154
    The Canberra Times – Saturday 12 July 1986
    First convictions of foreigners in 25 years
    Spy couple keep contacts secret
    From EDWARD VULLIAMY in London

    THE conviction of Reinhardt and Sonja Schulze at the Old Bailey this week was the first successful prosecution of foreign spies by Britain’s security services in 25 years.

    The last was in March 1961. when two American Marxists, Maurice and Lorna Cohen, were sentenced with their Soviet master, Konan Molody, and two British civil servants. The Americans were better known by their false names, Peter and Helen Kroger, and Molody as Gordon Arnold Lonsdale.

    However, there is no trace of any agents or contacts with whom the Schulzcs were working, and it is not clear where the trail leads next.

    The timing of their arrest on August 23, 1985, resulted from the defection of the head of West German intelligence, Hans Joachim Tiedge, to East Germany. The defection spread panic across Western intelligence agencies.

    Secrets of the highest order, and a knowledge of investigations in hand, had crossed the Iron Curtain. An intelligence source said this week, “That explains why we had to get them at that time.” The Schulzes had been under observation, and a simple tip-off would have warned them.

    That no agents or any person “running” the Schulzes were arrested suggests that either a warning did not reach any contacts in good time, or that the Schulzes were operating in an obscurity as dark to the intelligence services as it was to the court which convicted them.

    The Schulzes’ arrest followed another flurry of activity across the Iron Curtain in June, 1985: 23 Western agents were traded across the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin for four important spies held by the Americans.

    Seventeen were East Germans who had penetrated the communist system for the West. They were taken by West German agents for debriefing at Giessen, near Frankfurt, just two months before the Schulzes’ arrest.

    The Schulzes were convicted of preparing to spy in Britain. Indications emerged at their trial, however, that they were already active. It was not solid evidence, but the Crown and the judge stressed that, under the Official Secrets Act, they did not require such evidence to secure a conviction.

    In Mrs Schulze’s desk, the police found a sheet of A4 paper with handwriting indentations, featuring a series of five-figure numbers. Another piece of paper in Mr Schulze’s letter rack carried another number: 31870. The court was told in secret session that British intelligence had picked up exact morse code equivalents of these numbers, broadcast from East Britain.

    The records of recordings at the Government Communications Headquarters were shown to the jury and featured both the figure 31870, and a correlation with a segment of the series of numbers indented on Mrs Schulze’s paper.

    In the garden shed of their home, hidden in an air freshener, police found what the Crown described as spy kit: a miniaturised system for encoding, decoding and scrambling secret messages, explained to the jury on a blackboard in secret session.

    The first piece of kit was a substitution pad which converted letters into numbers. The second was a brevity code, which gave numbers to common words and phrases, including “micro dot” and “safe house”.

    The third was a “one-time pad”, which added numbers to the message to scramble it. Only the owner of an identical “one time pad” could follow the message.

    The pad had 20 pages, each containing 10 rows of five five figure numbers. Once used, numbers were torn off, at both ends of the communication, thus permanently changing the code. On the Schulzes’ pad, the first 13 1/2 pages had been torn off: the pad was apparently in service.

    In a book on GCHQ, The Puzzle Palace, the writer, Mr James Bamford, says that during the weeks after the arrest of an other spy, Geoffrey Prime, British intelligence picked up “the monotonous sound of a woman’s voice, reading in English five number code groups: 04376 74989.

    [See above extract from Prime’s paedo diary: “(043794) 2 Birchley Row Use Brookes … (07751) Sunville Farm Use Collins”]

    “The signals came from East Germany. Schulze was living in England at the time.

    Extraordinarily, there were no fingerprints nor any marks on two pieces of the equipment, and only one unidentifiable mark on the substitution box. The equipment had not been wiped clean. “There is nothing I can point to to say that they have been handled.” Mr David Tadd, a Scotland Yard fingerprint expert, told the court.

    The role of the Schulzes in whatever spy chain they belonged to was, the jury decided, one of communicating in formation. Yet after a month of tearing their homes literally to pieces, police were unable to find the piece of equipment which has characterised other similar convictions: a transmitter.

    The Schulzes were never traced to the East German embassy, nor was any meeting between them and another person observed.

    The Schulzes were apparently without access to information or agents. It remains a mystery whether the search is now on for a master who “ran” or services them, or for a row of agents they operated themselves.

    Outside the house in a suburban street near Heathrow, the Schulzes led a quiet, diligent life. Mr Schulze astounded his employers in the kitchen-design business, winning more than SA1.2 million worth of contracts for a Mr Russell Smith of Camargue Kitchens, Dunstable, in four months.

    Reinhardt Schulze had lived a solitary life at his flat in Pownall Gardens, Hounslow, before his wife joined him. His landlord and landlady, Mr Albert Ferris and wife, Bridget, took him for a drink at the local Conservative club, and for a game of bowls.

    In 1984, he introduced a woman he said he had met in Dublin, whom he married in October that year. They were equipped with meticulously documented false identities, validating their existences in East and West Berlin, Vienna, Leipzig, Ireland and England.

    Reinhardt Schulze took the identity of a real character, Bryan Strunze, son of a German prisoner-of-war and a woman from Gloucestershire. Sonja took that of Ilona Hammer, an East German born in Bavaria and married to an Austrian whose nationality she had taken.

    After these identities were retracted, the police and court were reluctant to believe that the name they then gave – Schulze – was genuine. It was not until after the jury delivered its verdict that, through counsel, they asked the judge to believe that they were called Schulze, had been married 16 years and, it emerged, had even been at school together.
    – The Guardian

%d bloggers like this: